5 milk cleansers for dry skin: baby soft clean skin vs. panda face

bathroom milk cleanser soap mirror

I was waiting in line in the store the other day when a new cleansing milk by a popular brand got my attention. I wondered, why did I stop using cleansing milk?

Once upon a time, there were only a few cleansing milks. Yes, I know, the horror. The abundance of face and makeup products we have now? Years ago, it was only three products. If you’re lucky. And no drugstores with new products every other week.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I miss simpler times. When you enter a store, buy one of the three products they have, and leave.

Now, with new products coming every week, the choice is getting harder. And steps in your routine? Infinite. Just look at YouTube and all the numerous night/morning beauty steps routines. 

You have to use micellar water, oils, foams, brush, and more, more, more…

Ah, that’s why I’ve stopped milk cleansers.

 I was hypnotized by all the new products and all the steps I have to follow.

But, who has the time? 10 steps, 12, 25, even 38 steps. Seriously? Yeah, I don’t. 

And my skin is not helping. I have sensitive, dry skin that loves to piss me off. Wind, dust, my pillowcase, new creams (expensive or not), and voila, reaction.

What if there was one product that can take care of the face, and with one (ok, not exactly one, but you get me) swipe clean everything. And hydrate. And doesn’t irritate.

I can go on. But let’s call this product a cleansing unicorn product because it’s very rare. I’m still searching.

After my bad experience with micellar waters and other “magical” cleansers, I decided to go back to searching for this rare product. And I think I found it. Good old cleansing milk. 

Let me tell you about five cleansing milks I tried. Did I have soft clear skin or did I look like a panda with black blurry eye makeup? And finally, which one was the perfect cleansing unicorn for me.

Mixa Pro-Tolerance extra-pure cleansing milk, 200 ml

I was lost, again, in a cosmetic labyrinth (a.k.a. my local drugstore) when I saw this white and purple bottle. I like the brand, and the price was good, so I had to try. 

No strong, unpleasant scent. It’s not too liquidy (so I have to hurry like crazy to spread it) or too thick (no pressing on the skin and wasting tons of product). My liquid eyeliner, foundation, and mascara are easily cleaned. And bonus, it does a great job with my matte lipsticks. ( I use Sephora and The Balm. In my opinion, those are two of the best matte lipstick brands. You can count on them even if you have a “trendy” salad with avo, olive oil, and quinoa. )

I use the milk directly on the face and massage with fingers, or a cotton pad. I think it will work great with other skin types, because it doesn’t leave a sticky film. My skin actually feels very soft after cleaning. 

Result – clean, soft skin. Makeup removed perfectly. 

DM Balea MED Ultra sensitive milk, 200 ml. 

Balea Med products are one of my favorites. I’ve tried shampoos, lotions, creams. So, when I saw the ultra-sensitive milk, I bought it without hesitation.

No perfumes, no parabens, made in Switzerland. It sounds too good, I said to myself. 

It’s even written on the package how you should use the milk with your fingers, in circular motions, and remove with a cotton pad.

It’s also noted safe to clean your eye makeup (not all milk cleanser specify if they’re suitable for eyes). It works well with everyday face makeup; the skin is soft after use. No strong scent. But sadly, my eye makeup won this round and stayed on my face.

I use the milk in the morning, to clean and freshen the face.

Result – soft skin, but eye makeup still hanging around. 

Uriage Roseliane Dermo cleansing fluid, 250 ml

Uriage’s dermo fluid had a long and unhappy life in my bathroom. 

In a crazy I’ve-had-enough-micellar-waters moment I stormed the pharmacy. I was so pissed with yet another micellar water making my dry skin even drier than Sahara. I wanted something magical and awesome to clean my face and eye area. But without water. Without the forgotten dry mud mask feeling on my face.

Ah, yes, I know what you’re thinking. It’s a fluid, not milk. Uriage actually has a cleansing milk, but the fluid is so thick, for me, it’s a milk cleanser. And, since my skin is very sensitive, I choose this over the cleansing milk.

The fluid has a light, pleasant scent. It’s very thick, so I would recommend spreading it with fingers on the face. Sadly, my everyday makeup won this battle. I had a panda face and my mascara (not waterproof) was the winner. I’m not a fan of waterproof mascara, I just don’t think the rubbing and the wrinkles when you clean it at the end of the day are worth it. 

Result – soft skin, but eye makeup still here, planning a sleepover party on my face.

Garnier Micellar Water Milk, 400ml

As I said, micellar waters are not working well for me. Years ago, when this magical product appeared, I too was one of those girls with the huge Bioderma bottle in my bath. Everything was rainbows and sunshine until I noticed my skin was definitely not happy. No matter the brand I tried, expensive or drugstore, with time my skin got drier, and especially my under eye area. After all, I cleaned my mascara and eye makeup with micellar water. That’s what micellar waters were so popular for, even praised by famous makeup artists.

So, when I noticed the new Garnier micellar water milk, part of me was curious. Would this be better? Would this be the perfect product to take off makeup and daily challenges off my face?

Well, no. It was not. It was worse. I don’t know who got the idea of mixing them, but this product was a total waste for me. It doesn’t take off my makeup, it irritates my eyes badly (hello, red, vampire eyes). My cotton pads are eating most of the product, and I also don’t like the smell. 

Another sad product in my bathroom (my sister saved it, it’s living a happy makeup-free life with her now).

Result – no soft skin, no clean skin. Makeup, eyes & face, sleepover partying all over face, panda look achieved. 

Jowae Soothing Cleansing milk, 200 ml

Jowae is a new brand (created in 2017), that caught my attention because it is a French-Korean brand. Produced in France, but inspired by and based on Korean beauty principles. 

Jowae, the Korean word for harmony, definitely surprised me. 

The milk has a pleasant, light scent. The consistency is very good. Not too sticky, or too liquidy.

It cleans my skin great and takes off my makeup perfectly.

I also liked the fact that 96% of the ingredients are natural. 

The Korean inspired brand recommends a 4-step skincare routine (yes! I love simple routines)   

  • cleanse – get rid of impurities
  • prepare – to help the skin absorb the nice ingredients 
  • activate – help maintain a youthful fresh look
  • correct – rebalance your skin

Result – clean, soft skin. Said bye to eye makeup, gone to bed happy. 

Bonus: There is a short test on Jowae’s Bulgarian page that helps you choose products. I selected target face, dry skin, main purpose to clean makeup, and it gave me four products, for each step of the 4-step routine, with a total price. 

It’s great for starting out, just to give you an idea of what products you need. Especially, if you are like me and always wondering which products are suitable for your skin or the right product order. I saw a similar test on the brand’s Canadian page, so it’s probably available on other pages of the brand.


After years of trial and error, I now firmly believe in a simple routine. Many steps mean stress (for my skin, my nerves, and finally, the people around me) and often poor results.

Did I start with the right product, was this step number two, when did the serum come? And a minimum of twenty products in my bathroom? No, no, no!

Five steps, five products, is my maximum. It works great for my pretentious skin. 

Cleansing milk helps me have this simple routine and keep my skin in good condition. Definitely, for me, this is an important step towards soft, clear skin.

So, which cleansing milk is best for me?

My favorite is Mixa, the second fave is Jowae, but I think everyone should make that choice for themselves. And sometimes you can alternate two milks, depending on your needs, the workload of the day, and your makeup. Experiment until you find the right product for you.

*Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

That’s my opinion of the products I have purchased and tried. Whether you agree or not is your right. But remember, we are all different, and the perfect product for one may not work for another. So don’t be afraid to give a product a try.

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